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From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas
The Texas Revolution has long been cast as an epic episode in the origins of the American West. As the story goes, larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis fought to free Texas from repressive Mexican rule. In Unsettled Land, historian Sam Haynes reveals the reality beneath this powerful creation myth. He shows how the lives of ordinary people—white Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and those of African descent—were upended by extraordinary events over twenty-five years. After the battle of San Jacinto, racial lines snapped taut as a new nation, the Lone Star republic, sought to expel Indians, marginalize Mexicans, and tighten its grip on the enslaved.
This is a revelatory and essential new narrative of a major turning point in the history of North America.
—H.W. Brands, author of Our First Civil War
"This brisk narrative illuminates the messy business of settlement, war, and independence in a multiracial borderland, and provides the most compelling history of Texas's founding in generations. Unsettled Land proves that no one knows the history of nineteenth-century Texas better than Sam W. Haynes."—Amy S. Greenberg, author of Lady First
"No chapter in American history calls more for a thorough re-telling than the origins of Texas. In the vividly written Unsettled Land, Sam W. Haynes meets that challenge, and his story is vastly more revealing than the tired myths that have held the stage for so long. Once one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse areas on the continent, Texas underwent a steady narrowing of possibilities until by the war with Mexico it was saddled with an iron Anglo rule that shoved to the margins the Native peoples, Hispanos, Blacks, and others who had played so prominently in its early years. It is a fascinating, if dispiriting, story."—Elliott West, University of Arkansas